Resolution on Priotizing the Recruitment, Hiring, Retention and Promotion of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) Staff, Faculty and Administrators

Resolution Number: RS21-416
March, 2021
Whereas: 
RATIONALE: In response to the social unrest and state sanctioned violence against Black lives throughout the United States, San Francisco State University President Lynn Mahoney outlined in a letter (July 17, 2020) to the campus community her commitment to, “Improving our hiring practices for staff, faculty and administrators to include anti-bias education and other best practices to ensure more diverse pools and hiring.” While we acknowledge that the University is experiencing a budget crisis and hiring chill, the campus needs to invest and commit to institutional change at every level, including recruiting, hiring, retaining and promoting staff, faculty, and administrators who are Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) . Critically, these aspirations should be guided by specific recommendations to ensure the creation of an equitable, brave and inclusive environment that is representative of our student body and is free of discrimination, harassment and bias in which BIPOC members of the university community can thrive. Therefore, the purpose of this resolution is to provide specific recommendations for closing the significant equity gap between the BIPOC demographics of our students and employees across all levels (i.e., staff, faculty and administrators).
Whereas: 
at the heels of social unrest and state sanctioned violence against Black lives there was a call to action for all institutions to address systemic racism and oppression. This resolution calls to look within and take the courage to lead and create an Anti-Racist University that centers BIPOC with intersections that include, class, gender identity, sexual identity, and disability; and
Whereas: 
according to Fall 2019 campus data approximately 82% of SF State students are BIPOC. While our student population is increasingly richly diverse, campus staff, faculty, and administrators are predominantly racially white. (BIPOC statistics include: 55% staff; 37% faculty; and according to SF State Human Resources, 49% administrators, and percentages of BIPOC employees would fall dramatically if the College of Ethnic Studies were removed from these data.) Aligning the ethnic diversity of employees with our student population presents an opportunity for transformational change at our University; and
Whereas: 
BIPOC staff, faculty and administrators have a “unique burden to bear in order to fit into and survive within the political and cultural paradigm of American higher education,” especially in carrying out service to community and other roles that white-identified staff, faculty and administrators often do not have to assume. This significant body of important and taxing work called cultural taxation “is not usually rewarded by the institution on whose behalf the service is performed.” Further, BIPOC staff and counselor faculty carry additional responsibilities because of departmental requests specifically for BIPOC employees to attend and facilitate events as well as student demand for counselors and advisors who look like them. It is not unusual to find across academic and service departments one, if any, BIPOC service provider on staff; and
Whereas: 
it is essential to support our students by creating an equitable and diverse staff, faculty and administration that both reflects the student body and cultivates a thriving professional environment for BIPOC employees that include resources for retention and promotion and recognizing and compensating for cultural taxation; and
Whereas: 
the dearth of diversity among staff, faculty and administrators is closely tied to recruitment and hiring practices. We must focus on changing campus practices that contribute to the lack of diversity in hiring outcomes. We must question assumptions, recognize stereotypes that harm candidates, and continually reexamine hiring practices; and
Whereas: 
change will require a radical shift in ideology and practice as we assess and acknowledge that our current hiring practices may not be working. We must apply a race conscious, equity minded framework to be accountable for the success of staff, faculty and administrator candidates and see the closing of racial gaps as our professional and institutional responsibilities; and there must be a commitment to provide an antiracist workplace environment where BIPOC employees are valued, respected, heard, supported, and equitably compensated; an environment where BIPOC employees are provided opportunities for professional development and advancement, as well as a fair, transparent, attainable and well-defined process for ensuring job security and achieving one’s professional potential; now, therefore, be it
Resolved: 
that the Academic Senate urge the entire University to immediately apply an equity minded, social justice framework to address historic and contemporary issues for our diverse student population; that we actively strive to be culturally relevant and responsive by implementing race conscious principles that explicitly state and demonstrate through our hiring practices that SF State is an anti-racist institution; that in times of budget crises, the importance of retention and building the diversity of staff, faculty, and administrators will inform all decisions; and be it further
Resolved: 
that the Academic Senate affirms and supports the University in implementing policies and practices that increase diversity in hiring committees and the recruitment, hiring, retention and promotion of BIPOC employees which include intersections of class, gender identity, sexual identity, and disability. Hiring committees should be diverse not only in name but in the voices of BIPOC committee members being valued and heard; and be it further
Resolved: 
that the hiring of lecturer faculty should be guided by anti-racism and JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) best practice principles, utilizing a hiring checklist similar to tenure/track hires, but revised appropriately for lecturer faculty and best done by committee when possible. Because lecturer faculty are the majority of our faculty by headcount, diversifying this population is the only way to meaningfully diversify the faculty, in addition to increasing tenure track positions for BIPOC faculty; and be it further
Resolved: 
that the Academic Senate challenge University administration, especially Human Resources, the Office of Faculty Affairs & Professional Development, Academic Affairs, the College Deans, Student Services and Enrollment Management to infuse equity and inclusion throughout the recruitment, hiring, retention and promotion of BIPOC employees at all levels (i.e., staff, faculty and administrators) by removing institutional barriers and identifying and compensating BIPOC employees for the additional work associated with cultural taxation; and be it further
Resolved: 
that the Academic Senate expects campus administration to report, at a minimum annually the disaggregated data needed to monitor progress towards equity for complete transparency, uncover potential patterns of inequities in hiring practices and salary disparities, and determine where biased practices may occur. Disaggregated data, including from the Office of Institutional Research, should include rank, college (to include coach, counselor and library faculty), race and gender; and be it further
Resolved: 
that the Academic Senate evaluate the racial and ethnic diversity of its current membership and leadership to ensure it reflects and responds to the increasingly diverse student population; and be it further
Resolved: 
that the Academic Senate support the creation of a new Academic Senate Committee on Diversity, Equity and the Workplace; and be it further
Resolved: 
that this resolution be distributed to President Mahoney and her cabinet, AVP of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development, Dean of the College of Health and Social Sciences, Dean of Graduate Studies, Dean of the College of Science and Engineering, Dean of the College of Liberal and Creative Arts, Dean of the Graduate College of Education, Dean of the Lam Family College of Business, Dean of the College of Ethnic Studies, Dean of Undergraduate Education and Academic Planning, AVP for Division of Equity and Community Inclusion, the Board of Directors of the Associated Students, and the CSU Academic Senate.
Resolved: 
NOTES: Indigenous peoples in California include California natives, other native North Americans, Mayans, Quechua, Mixtec, and Zapotec. While this resolution adopts the commonly used term “Black, Indigenous, and People of Color” (BIPOC) that is inclusive of all people of color in order to acknowledge that there is important work to be done to address a more equitable representation of all such underrepresented groups, the primary focus here is on responding to the current social focus inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement. Additional Senate Resolutions would be warranted to follow this resolution. https://puboff.sfsu.edu/sfsufact/archive/1920 Canton, C. (2013) The “cultural taxation” of faculty of color in the Academy. CFA Magazine, Fall 2013. Retrieved from: https://www.calfac.org/magazine-article/cultural-taxation-faculty-color-academy New, J. (2016). A Counselor Who Looks Like You. Inside Higher Ed, March 2016. Retrieved from: https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2016/03/03/students-demand-more-minority-advisers-counselors